Generic Name: Clozapine (KLOE-za-peen)Drug Class: Antipsychotics
- Drug Uses
- General Information
- How it Works
- How to Take It
- Possible Side Effects
- Warnings and Precautions
- Drug Interactions
- Missing a Dose
- Pregnancy or Nursing
Clozapine is available only from certain pharmacies that participate with
your doctor to monitor blood tests. You will need to have weekly blood test
for at least six months. After that your doctor will decide if it is safe
for you to have blood tests every other week. You will receive enough medicine
to get you to your next blood test.
How it Works
How to Take It
Clozapine should be taken exactly as directed. It comes in tablet form and
is taken orally one to three times a day. Your dose of clozapine may need
to be adjusted, especially in the first few weeks. You will need to take weekly
blood tests while taking clozapine and continue until 4 weeks after you stop
taking clozapine. Initially, you will only receive a weeks supply at a time.
Continue to take this medicine even if you are feeling better. This medicine
must be taken for a few weeks for you to feel its full effects.
Possible Side Effects
- Talk to your doctor if any of these side effects are bothersome or don’t go away:
- dry mouth
- If you experience any of these side effects, talk to you doctor immediately:
- difficulty urinating
- eye pain
- chest pain
- muscle stiffness (severe)
- sore throat
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- upset stomach
- yellowness of the skin or eyes
- loss of appetite
- Clozapine can cause high blood sugar. Symptoms of high blood sugar are:
- being thirsty
- having dry mouth
- urinating frequently
- feeling tired
- Clozapine can cause a serious blood condition that you need to be aware of. Your doctor will perform weekly blood tests for the first 6 months of treatment and once every other week after that.
- Clozapine may cause seizures. Tell your doctor if you have or have every had a seizure. Do not perform hazardous tasks including driving while taking clozapine, because a loss of conscienceness can hurt you or others.
- Clozapine may cause swelling the heart muscle, a dangerous condition. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- extreme tiredness
- difficulty breathing
- chest pain
- fast or irregular heartbeat.
- Clozapine may cause low blood pressure or dizziness when you stand up too quickly. This may happen when you first start taking the medicine.
- Tell your doctor if you are allergic to clozapine or any other medications for schizophrenia.
- Seek medical attention immediately. For non emergencies, contact your local or regional poison control center at 1-800-222-1222.
- Some medicines should not be taken together because of drug-drug interactions. Other medicines may affect the way clozapine works, making it less effective or increasing its side effects. Clozapine may have an effect on your other medicines. Tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications for anxiety such as Valium (diazepam), sleeping pills, or other medications for schizophrenia.
- Let your doctor know all of the medications that you take including all prescription medicines, over-the-counter drugs and any vitamins, supplements or herbal remedies.
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out
of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat
and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated
or no longer needed.
There are no studies with this medicine in pregnant women. However, clozapine
has not been shown to cause birth defects in animal studies. You and your
doctor should decide whether the benefits of taking this medicine outweigh
any risks to your baby. Clozapine may pass into breast milk. You should NOT
breastfeed while taking this medicine. Talk to your doctor for more information.
More InformationDo not let anyone else take your medicine. For more information on clozapine, talk to your healthcare provider.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 19 May 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.